On Stop Lights and Being Stuck

Dear Beth,

Yesterday, I wrote about “Do Something,” which I think is going to be my slogan for 2015. Normally, I tend to procrastinate. I’ll get an idea and then I have to think it through from all sides before I move on it.

Now, I get an idea and then I remember, “do something.” So I have to act on the thought. That means that my writing will very likely tend to be less put together than before, more stream of consciousness, but at least I am acting instead of waiting. We’ll see what comes of it as the year goes on.

I know I’ve mentioned Pastor Kirk Bowman to you before, the pastor of the Rock of Asheville, the church I attended until I got married and moved away, and the church that will probably always be “home” to me. Pastor Kirk (or PK for short), preached one time about how we can get stuck waiting for God to show us our next move. Instead, he suggested, figure that God has given you a green light, and keep moving forward until you are sure that he is giving you a red light.

Figure that God has given you a green light, and keep moving forward until you are sure that he is giving you a red light.

You won’t miss the time to stop, but you might easily get lost waiting for the perfect time to go.

It’s hard to count how much this has influenced my life. Take, for example, “do something.” When I read it, I knew that it was speaking to me. But what if I waited for a move of God before I did something? I’d still be waiting, most likely, because I already had my word for this year right in front of me.

It’s like the story that Ken enjoys sharing, about the man caught in the flood. When the water isn’t very high, a car drives by and offers him a ride. “Thanks,” he says, but I’ve been praying, and I’m waiting for God to move.

As the water rises, the man moves to the second floor. Soon, a boat pulls up and offers to rescue him. “Thanks,” he says again, “I’m waiting for God to move.”

The water continues to rise, and the man moves to the roof. A helicopter comes along and drops a ladder. The man climbs up the ladder and tells them, “Thanks, but no thanks, I’m still waiting for God to move,” then climbs back down to wait.

Eventually, the man drowns, and when he gets to heaven, he asks, “God, why didn’t you answer my prayers?” Of course, God replies, “I sent a car, a boat, and a helicopter. What were you expecting?”

I’ve found that when I wait, I tend to discount the car, boat, and helicopter, figuring that it’s just my desire that makes me want to use what’s in front of me and then I feel stuck. But, when I move forward until I hit a stop light, I see each piece as part of God’s plan and I am amazed at how it all works together.

What I’m realizing already is how often I unconsciously put off things, waiting for a better time or a better answer, and then I wonder why I’m not moving forward.

By the way, when the story gets to the helicopter coming to rescue the man, I always wonder why he doesn’t at least try it – getting rescued by helicopter sounds like a pretty cool experience. 🙂


  • Bethani

    I’m someone that likes to start out go in the right direction and chug along. But I’ve found that I sometimes have to turn around and go in a completely different direction than I anticipated or thought I was being directed towards. Sometimes having to turn around and start over can be daunting. It’s the doing something that is “the wrong” something that SOMETIMES I’m unaware I’m doing. However, I do appreciate these opportunities for turning around and going along a separate path from the one I was traveling when they occur. Yes, I consider them opportunities because I’ve gained wisdom from my mistakes. I just hope to make less mistakes as I grow older. I especially hope to never make repeat mistakes.